Almost a year ago, a half-injured N’Golo Kanté delivered a masterclass against Arsenal in the Europa League final, continuing his winning streak ever since he arrived in the Premier League in 2015. The thought of parting ways with Kanté would have been as good as committing a crime then.
Fast forward a year, and the same thought is no longer as controversial. Questions are being asked, price tags are being rumored, reluctantly but with increasing volume.
Meanwhile, down in Barcelona, the locals are trying to offload one Philippe Coutinho. There have been no takers yet for the overprice former Liverpool midfielder, but Chelsea’s name keeps getting brought up.
Putting two and two together, Barcelona sports daily Mundo Deportivo (MD) have come up with an absolute gem, reporting on a potential swap deal involving those two players. Yes, this is real. The story that is, not the idea, which is surely absolute nonsense.
Barcelona are apparently looking for someone like Kanté to help them reform the midfield, with the likes Ivan Rakitić and Arturo Vidal probably moved on if possible, while others like the 32-year-ld Sergio Busquets starting to feel his age. Kanté may be no spring chicken, but when healthy, can still be one of the best in the world at his position.
Trouble is, Barcelona can’t quite afford Chelsea’s rumored asking price of €70, which is where the Coutinho flight of fancy lands. But even if Chelsea would actually consider bringing in Coutinho, we’d most certainly not double down on that silliness by doing so as a straight swap.